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Report: Number of sanctioned schools decreasing in Georgia
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A new report shows the number of Georgia schools facing the stiffest sanctions under the federal No Child Left Behind law is decreasing, bucking a national trend.

But the report from the Center on Education Policy says the drop could be because Georgia sets the bar too low for what is considered proficient. The report looks at schools undergoing restructuring — the final resort for schools that consistently fail to meet federal benchmarks.

The number of Georgia schools undergoing restructuring fell from 51 in 2004 to 46 last year. Most other states saw the opposite trend, according to the report.

Dana Tofig, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Education, said the report shows the state has the right strategy for improving schools.

Merrianne Dyer, superintendent of the Gainesville school system, said there are no Gainesville schools currently undergoing staff restructuring due to No Child Left Behind requirements.

According to Patty Robinson, director of early literacy and school improvement for Hall County Schools, East Hall Middle School is the only county school undergoing mandated restructuring. Although East Hall Middle made Adequate Yearly Progress as measured by No Child Left Behind for the 2007-2008 school year, it is still classified as a year eight "Needs Improvement" school.

Robinson said the middle school is now in the contract-monitored stage under federal accountability laws. The school has entered into a contract with the state Department of Education, which is closely monitoring and evaluating its progress on an on-going basis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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